My Military
OneSource App

Considering Adoption or Foster Care? Know These 8 Things

Mixed family at dinner table

Every child deserves to grow up with a safe and loving family, with the care and support of their community. The Defense Department knows that adoption and foster care are great ways to start or grow your family and offers support to military families fostering and adopting family members.

You are also eligible for substantial financial support from the DOD when you adopt, including assistance with adoption costs, tax credits and other benefits.

Military adoption and foster care benefits, processes and other considerations

Adopting a child can take several months to years and can cost thousands of dollars. But the happy returns of a child are limitless. The mobile military life is not a barrier to adoption and foster care, and service members have several military adoption benefits.

Are you considering adopting or fostering a child?

Reach out to a Military OneSource adoption specialty consultant today for assistance with your fostering and adoption questions.

Military OneSource can connect you to the resources and information you need to make informed decisions about adopting or fostering a child. Whether you are beginning the process or have questions during the process, add Military OneSource, AdoptUSKids and Child Welfare Information Gateway to your list of contacts.

Not sure where to begin? Let Military OneSource be your first step. Call 800-342-9647 to connect to a Military OneSource adoption consultant.

Our adoption consultants are specially trained in military adoptions and foster care essentials and help you navigate the process and can provide customized guidance for your family’s situation.

Image of Podcast Microphone

Adoption and Foster Care podcast

Learn about how Military OneSource adoption consultations can help military families with all aspects of adoption and foster care, including understanding the different types of adoption available, connecting to resources and contacts throughout the process, and understanding benefits, including the adoption reimbursement policy, leave time and tax credits.

Adoption specialty consultations are free. Consultants can assist you with:

  1. Learning about adoption and foster care. The adoption process is a journey; each journey starts with a first step. There are several adoption options available to you, and consultants can assist you with understanding the differences.
  2. Moving. It’s easier to complete the process at one duty station. If you move during the process, you may have to repeat some steps. Getting deployed could put things on hold. Understand the timeline and financial ramifications of PCS and deployment so there are no surprises.
  3. Living overseas. Look for an agency used to working with U.S. citizens living abroad. Living overseas also can complicate required criminal background checks. Your agency or military law enforcement office at your overseas duty station may be helpful here.
  4. Traveling issues. If adopting from another state or country, you’ll likely need to travel. This can pose an issue for service members who may not have as much flexibility. Discuss this early with your agency to come up with a plan.
  5. Reducing expenses. Thanks to the Defense Department Adoption Reimbursement Policy, you can claim up to $2,000 per child and $5,000 per calendar year in reimbursement for certain adoption expenses.
  6. Parental leave. Service members may be eligible for 12 weeks of non-chargeable, paid parental leave to welcome a child into their family through birth, adoption or long-term foster care.
  7. Getting health insurance. Adopted children must first be registered in DEERS, after which the sponsor must enroll the child in TRICARE within 90 days of the adoption date. Adoption consultants can assist you with understanding these details and timelines.
  8. Getting a tax credit. Families adopting a child may qualify for a tax credit (up to $15,950 per child) to help offset adoption costs. If you can’t use all the credit in one year, it may be carried forward for up to five years.

Learn how Military OneSource provides support and resources for all parts of the adoption or foster care process.

Whether you’re just starting to think about foster care or adoption, or you have already grown your family and have questions, you can depend on Military OneSource for 24/7 assistance. Connect with an adoption specialty consultant today.

Military OneSource adoption specialty consultations are available to active-duty, National Guard and reserve service members (regardless of activation status) and their immediate families. Call 800-342-9647, view international calling options or set up a live chat to schedule a consultation with a Military OneSource consultant.

Learn about military bases worldwide. Get installation overviews, check-in procedures, housing, neighborhood information, contacts for programs and services, photos and more.

Find an Installation